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Colds and Flu

Colds and flu are a common disease that can be inflicted to anyone who has a weak immune system. Weak immune system is probably caused by too much stress or other illnesses or through poor diet. Colds and flu are triggered by some allergens such as dust and pollutants and viruses. Colds are characterized by sneezing, blocked-up nose, runny nose, coughs and headache whereas flu shows additional symptoms of rapidly rising fever, chills, and body and muscle aches.

Colds and flu are communicable and therefore can be passed from one person to another. The viruses are transmitted by droplets from coughs or sneezes. These droplets are inhaled directly when they are floated in the air. They can also transmit through hand contact. The viruses, which can last for a few hours, are introduced to the nasal passages when the hand touches the nose or eyes.

Sufferers of colds and flu develop immunity to the virus encountered. However, this immunity offers limited protection as there are large number of different colds and flu viruses. The best way to prevent inflicted by someone with colds and flu is avoid getting contact with the existing sufferers. Wash hand regularly and thoroughly with anti-bacteria soap and avoid touching the face with hands.

Perhaps by avoiding the source of viruses, you could protect yourselves from being infected. However if in any cases you catch a colds and flu, you need a strong immune system to fight off the virus. Consuming plenty of leafy greens, sweet potatoes, Brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, tuna and broccoli can strengthen your immune system.

Vitamin C and Zinc can prevent colds and flu. The duration and severity of colds and flu may be lessened by increasing intake of vitamin C up to 500mg daily for as long as the cold last. It will be easier to take supplement tablets than to consume 500mg of vitamin from food daily. However, too much vitamin C can cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, kidney stones and other problems.

Water and other citrus-based drinks will help in decongesting phlegm and mucus formations and hence minimizing the effect of colds. Drop few drops of thyme oil and eucalyptus oil in boiling water and inhale the stream. This can also have the same effect.

Ginger and chilies are good stimulant spices that help to fight off viruses. You can use them fresh in your cooking. You can also include plenty of fresh garlic in your diet as garlic is a natural anti-bacterial. Avoid eating foods rich in saturated fats such as chocolates and other dairy products as they tend to form more mucus that may develop into sinusitis. Low-nutrient foods, alcohol and smoking should also be avoided.

Colds and flu sufferers should get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquid. However, it is necessary to take medications to relief symptoms such as fever or muscle ache associated with the colds and flu. So, it is crucial that you see your physician for proper treatment.